Perseid Meteor Shower To Put On Brilliant Show This Weekend

Pablo Tucker
August 11, 2018

The Perseid Meteor Shower is set to light up the night sky this weekend. "This is how we know the Perseids always put on the best show of the year in August for many years".

NASA's photo of the lonely Perseid meteor was snapped in the early pre-dawn hours Universal Time when viewing conditions are prime. Be sure to check your local weather forecast. But you don't need to stare at Perseus to spot meteors - in fact, it may be better to simply stare unfocused into the sky and let your more-sensitive peripheral vision do the heavy lifting.

So when is the Perseid meteor shower?

The Perseids meteor shower occurs around mid-August.

And even though there won't be as many shooting stars as in past years - in 2016, for example, there were as many as 200 visible meteors per hour - there will still be a boatload this weekend, with as many as 60 to 70 meteors per hour during its peak, Cooke told Space.com.


According to Jolene Creighton at Quarks to Quasars, the meteors you'll be able to see during the meteor shower's peak each hour will be blasting into Earth's atmosphere at speeds of around 209,000 kilometres per hour (130,000 miles per hour).

"All people have to do is count how many "shooting stars" (meteors is the correct term) they see every 15 minutes and send them to Astronomy Ireland's website www.astronomy.ie that night or the next day".

The Perseids are known both for their epic "fireballs" - explosions of light and color that last longer than those from typical meteors - and for their long, streaking tails. Look to the northeast about 40 degrees off the horizon. No special equipment is needed, just patience.

High pressure over the Upper Mississippi River Valley will aid in clear, overnight skies and comfortable low temperatures for mid-Missouri in the middle 60s.

If you'd rather watch the Perseid meteor shower from the comfort of your own home, the Virtual Telescope Project is live broadcasting the shower from scenic Castel Santa Maria, Italy, beginning at 4:30 p.m. EST on August 12. This will greatly increase the number of meteors seen.


The Perseids are a result of the Earth's orbit, when it travels through the cloud of debris caused by the comet Swift-Tuttle.

The annual Perseid meteor shower happens when the Earth sweeps through dust that's left behind by a comet swift-tunnel, according to University of Manitoba instructor Danielle Pahud.

"The dunes at Mleiha, especially around Al Faya Mountain and The Fossil Rock, offer a secluded experience for visitors and sky watchers who look forward to create great memories out of this opportunity".

In addition to the Perseids, there will also be four planets visible in the sky on the nights of the shower's peak. 8-10 p.m. Saturday at J.B. Starkey Wilderness Park, 10500 Wilderness Park Blvd., New Port Richey.


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